Treasury regulators have decided insurance company MetLife is a potential threat to the US financial system requiring stepped-up Federal Reserve supervision, the company said Thursday.
MetLife, a leading insurer, said it was "disappointed" after being notified of the decision by the Financial Stability Oversight Council, established as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform after the 2008 financial crisis.
"We continue to believe that MetLife is not systemically important under the Dodd-Frank Act's criteria, and the company has presented substantial and compelling evidence to FSOC to support this conclusion," it said in a statement.
The insurer has been battling the label since the Treasury in early September began considering the designation.
"As we have said many times, singling out two large life insurance companies for SIFI designation will harm competition, lead to higher prices and less choice for consumers, and ultimately could result in less financial protection for middle-class families -- who need it the most."
MetLife was referring to rival Prudential Financial, another life-insurance giant which has been deemed a "systemically important financial institution" (SIFI) and placed as a non-banking institution under the supervision of the Federal Reserve,
Two other non-banks are on the list and subject to Fed "stress tests" to determine whether they are capable of weathering severe shocks: American International Group and General Electric Capital.
MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries and serves about 100 million customers.